Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tomorrow, very early, Paul and I will catch the bus for New York, so you will hear from me sporadically for a few days. I'm not sure what we'll be doing while we're there, other than going to see the show Fun Home. Paul might visit some friends; I might go to the Museum of Modern Art. If the weather is decent, I'd like to walk on the High Line.  If the weather is terrible, maybe I will stay in Brooklyn and cook something extravagant. In either case, we could have a cup of coffee, if you've got an empty moment on Thursday or Friday.

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I went to Bangor yesterday to drop my violin off at the violin hospital and to get Paul a haircut. I also ended up having a bonanza day in the Goodwill's book section, which was strangely crowded . . .  a man with dreads buying homeschooling manuals, and a down-at-heels couple crowing over the plethora of available James Patterson novels, and a young mother in a posh suede coat scanning the nonfiction while the child in her shopping cart contentedly broke the wheels off a plastic truck. Fortunately none of them seemed to be hunting for these books:
* A first American edition of Ted Hughes's Selected Translations (2006), which covers an astonishing range of poets, from the anonymous voices of The Tibetan Book of the Dead through Euripides, Pushkin, Macedo, Racine, Ovid. . . . This book is definitely coming on the bus with me. 
* A first edition of Jane Kenyon's Collected Poems (2005). Earlier this year I bought this same collection new, in paperbook. So if you are in need of a copy of Kenyon's poems, please let me know and I will mail it to you or perhaps hand it to you over a cup of coffee in Brooklyn. 
* An early American edition of Kate O'Brien's The Last of Summer (1943). Kate O'Brien was an Irish novelist, not very well known, but an exquisite delineator of the tragic interplay between sexual desire and family or public duty, especially in a Catholic context. Her most famous books are That Lady (set in Philip II's Spain) and The Land of Spices (set in a Irish convent before World War I). I didn't even know this particular novel existed, so I am all of a flutter.
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Finally, I haven't heard from anyone about whether we should continue the Tu Fu reading project or shelve it again. Is there a consensus? I know all of you are busy with your quotidian lives, as am I, but I'm certainly willing to carve out space to continue this project . . . if I can be sure that others are also carving out space. While I'm happy to host the project and to toss out discussion starters, I'm not willing to be the major talker. My hope is that participants will respond to one another's comments rather than depend on me to do all of the segue work. If that doesn't seem possible right now, then I think we ought to sideline the project. But if a few of you can commit to responding in a timely manner to each other's comments about the readings, then I'm willing to keep going.


Carlene said...

Your trip to NYC sounds delightful! I read Fun Home for a grad class a while ago; I didn't know what it was/was about, and I am still torn about how I feel about it, but in the general sense, I feel it's smart. Do let us know how it translates to stage!

And yes...please...Tu Fu!! For myself, I like the idea of exploring the "how" of the poems, and how they talk to one another and to us.

Ruth said...

I am reading; however, I simply could not construct any coherent response to the sentence structures. S, for me, I'd like to continue.

Mr. Hill said...

I'm just lurking as always, but am enjoying the Tu Fu, too, so to speak.